San Francisco

Embattled School Board Trustee Ann Hsu Receives Support, Opposition in Petition

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Following calls by the NAACP and others for her resignation, San Francisco Unified School District board trustee Ann Hsu received some support Monday in a petition purportedly signed by hundreds of people.

The support follows a week of opposition to Hsu, who was appointed to the post by Mayor London Breed following the February recall of three board members in a special election.

Hsu made headlines in July that have many, including fellow board members, calling for her ouster.

The San Francisco branch of the NAACP voted unanimously (105-0) July 24 calling for Hsu's resignation, following comments she made that the group called racist.

In response to a candidate questionnaire for the group San Francisco Parent Action, Hsu wrote "unstable family environments" and "lack of parental encouragement" posed challenges for educating Black and brown students.

The NAACP said July 24 that its executive board met with Hsu before the group's vote "concerning her hurtful, racist remarks concerning Black students and families in San Francisco."

"Her comments indicate a profound disconnect between Hsu and the Black community and blame the effects of systemic racism on the targets of that racism," the Rev. Amos Brown, the president of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP, said in a statement last week.

On Monday, a group calling itself Concerned People for SFUSD shared with the media a letter with a list of 339 names of people in support of Hsu. The letter acknowledges that Hsu made a mistake but has apologized and taken responsibility for her words.

Brown said last week that the group accepts Hu's apology, but "it is not enough to overcome the damage she has done. The Black community in San Francisco cannot put its trust in her to be an advocate for the needs of Black students, especially access to all the educational opportunities available to other students in the district."

The letter in support of Hsu says in its entirety:

"We, the undersigned, know Ann Hsu in person or by reputation. Some of us have known her for many years, and in some cases, decades, while others know her by her actions and engagement in her responsibilities as a School Board member. We know her to be a person of integrity, a devoted mother of twins in the San Francisco public school system, a skilled professional woman dedicated to family, community, and the city of San Francisco. Since taking on her role, she has worked tirelessly on behalf of all the students in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD).

We were grateful for her willingness to step forward to serve on the San Francisco Board of Education, after losing her husband to Parkinson's disease in the middle of the pandemic. We knew that she would be a fierce advocate for the students, and she has been.

We understand that she made a mistake. She is human. But we also know that she did not do so out of any malice. She has apologized and taken responsibility for her words. She has vowed to make amends by listening, improving her own understanding, and taking critical action at the Board of Education to help all students.

Ann has vowed to help bridge the communities within San Francisco. We believe, as Mayor Breed has said, that this can be a 'teaching moment.' Ann has already begun the work to make it one.

We do not believe that Ann should resign. We do not accept that as an appropriate action. We believe driving Ann from office would be a disproportionate consequence, unfair to those who are counting on her to make San Francisco public schools better.

Rather than drive us apart, let us pull together in this moment, and move our communities, and our schools, forward...for all of our children.


Concerned People for SFUSD"

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